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Dan Hampton Education. (2012) 'Viper Pilot A Memoir of Air Combat.'

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  CSPAN    Book TV    Dan Hampton  Education.  (2012)  
   'Viper Pilot A Memoir of Air Combat.'  

    November 3, 2012
    8:00 - 9:00am EDT  

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you can find more information about the national press club on our web site. also if you would like to get a copy of today's program please check out our web site at www. france.org. saying you. we are adjourned. ..
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>> okay, coolidge documents the coolidge family during their white house years and before. part of the coolidge family papers. we have one box that just his photographs. and several boxes of other documents. photographs are heavy. the album should be in the back of the box here. here it is. unfortunately, it is on black city paper. there's not much we can do about that because we don't want to change the artifact nature of the album itself.
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it's starting to crack. some of the pages are separating. this is a photograph of calvin coolidge the day before he became president. he was in plymouth, vermont, visiting his father, doing his chores. this is a price photograph them as we did have the price along with him. you can see they took one photograph of him here with his suit jacket on and then another one of him without his suit jacket on.
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>> now, and i'm whereby at 16 air pilot, dan hampton who was caught to secure the airspace on 9/11 and the dealer shall attack on iraq. >> thanks for coming, especially on a deity like today. who won the game? ouch. batter close? 21 to 21. we can live with that. anyway, thanks for coming. like she said, i spent 20 years flying fighters and never actually intended to write a
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book. it came about more or less by accident. anybody watch the fox and friends interview earlier last week? probably not. they asked me the single question and it's not something one takes about them we don't talk about it very much. so i think it's a good glimpse into a world that again is that normally accessible. and i've been really surprised -- i shouldn't have been, but i've been really surprised by the interest from teenagers thinking about a possible career of what it might take in the air force academy, had he convinced the air force? what you do? that sort of thing. so it's opened a lot of eyes, which is good. more than that, i wanted to kind of expose a little bit of what's happened in the last 20 years because i don't think people realize it's 1990, basically, people have been going back and
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forth to the middle east day in day out, month after month, christmas, holidays. divorce rates skyrocketed. i think it's like 50% now in the military all the time. so it's hardly be healthier in this book was not written from the standpoint of it all about fighter pilots, certainly not all about me. i'd like you guys to take away, if the donor to have it, can you be more in-depth appreciation of the things continued to be done right now. the book starts out with a combat mission in 2003. with a combat mission in 2003, north of a town in iraq called nasser rhea. even his marines? no? okay. there is simmering your name that got cut off there and the biggest sandstorm and met by federal been to saudi arabia and iraq, cover the whole continent except for that one corner where we were. somebody had to get down
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underneath a desk and try to save these very. that's what the book opens with. i talk a little bit about the history of most of what i did. i was a wild weasel. you guys know if that is? because the air force, right? diverted from their there, done that. the wild weasel is very unique and screwy kind of person whose job in life it is to go out and get shot at by antiaircraft artillery. if he survives, when you survive you go back around then and remove those threats so they don't offer anybody else. and i cannot say with the guy said. you can read about it in the book. there's mixed company and youngsters here, so i won't go into that, but it's really screwy job and that's most of what i did. i talk about the history of how that came to pass. it's not a textbook or another,
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i like to learn without knowing and learning. today's ever raid l. bryson's books? i've learned a lot and never realized i was learning. tickets in history and figure out what was happening when i was commissioned in the process it takes to become a pilot and a fighter pilot after that. i talk a little bit about the first gulf war. case in running things in there, too. you know, it's hard not to spend 20 years doing something without some funny things. my first combat mission is a very, very long day that culminated in the officer's club and there's some amusing stories in there. i won't ruin the book for you. i didn't exchange tour with the egyptian air force for a year and a half. i had to go off to school and learn to speak arabic and learn about them and how they think and how they ought to.
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got to do that for a year, which is interesting. i put a chapter in their called fly like an egyptian. anybody here old enough to remember the egyptians? anyway, i can come some amusing anecdotes and that you are spent some not so amusing. i think it opens with a test site and as soon as iraq up into decline, thinking how cool is this? was suddenly not so cool for the 50 seconds that it took me to get the airplane back down on the ground. so that's kind of funny. sitting there on the ground, it catches up with me and i start to sweat a little bit and i'm grateful to be back down on the ground. this egyptian peasant walks across the runway. no wonder u.s. air boris it's not down tighter than fort knox.
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i was not expect dean to see this peasant kind of plot along in front of my airplane. he was 20 feet in front of the jet leading a donkey. i thought, what am i doing here? to donkey kong to relieve himself in front of the airplane and they both should her head at me and walked off. so there's some funny things like that. it basically traces them the path of at least my path as a fighter pilot. i came back from egypt, i've been overseas for six years at the good life. i lived in europe. you guys in the military know you get to travel and do things. so most of the capital cities, you know, a lot of neat things you don't normally see. used to keep a horse by the pyramids. i mean, how cool is that to go riding into the peer nodes. but i wanted to come home. i have not a sonnet worker in a long time and haven't ended to resort to this open past 8:00 at night for a long time and i
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wanted to come home and i did. i got selected to attend the fighter weapons school out of malice, which is the air force version of the navy school. i darted down the navy school, kind of an abbreviated exchange. it is okay, but they're not half of what we are. because the air force? okay, good. never mind the football game today, that's irrelevant. the whole taking off and landing on a carrier. it's a good school, but wasn't anything like ours. ours is six months long and utterly miserable. i came out of that a change to the reading. some say for the better. i lost almost all of my cockiness, quite a few tailfeathers and spent the next decade be the weapons and tactics officer at different levels. i was at khobar towers would not place blew up. two-faced member that? may not want to sit too close to
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me because i'm always in the wrong place at the wrong time. yeah, i was there when that place blew up. i don't think any of us were thinking about terrorism than the way thought of now. it wasn't something we were prepared to fight. my generation was geared up to fight the soviet union. i asked my teenage daughter, you know, she says what's wrong with russia? i said it's not russia, it's the soviet union. she said was that? but it's a big thing back in the late 80s and early 90s before it toppled. we were geared up to fight them and most of us have never considered iraq or knew who saddam hussein was. after that war was over, which when it was a foregone conclusion, the terrorists and they took us all by surprise. we thought they were rabble-rousers. never given too much credit. interestingly enough, all the buildings were built by the bin laden construction company and had the bin laden stamps and
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buildings. how's that for irony? after that, things kind of change. the world trade in their bombing and september 11, we all know what happened that day. i was flying up winning. we came back from the middle east from another rotation in the monday, september 10 was their first day back. the morning of september 11th is actually flying in it come down very, very early. somebody said hey come you got to look at this. remember the key not the first tower building, what morons could hit tower of that size on a clear day? i thought it was an accident. in the second plane hit and we obviously figured that out. they said a bunch of us have to close down the airspace over the united states. i talk about that, too. for a pilot that's really eerie. as tens of thousands of flights every day overhead. you know, the radio server was talking. it's never quiet.
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to go up later on that day at about 11:00, there's nobody airborne, nobody talking. it was really eerie. i found a delta jet trying to get into atlantic that through no fault of his own, they went on the right radio frequencies in the controller was going bananas because he couldn't talk to them an airline pilot couldn't talk to them and never once felt jumpy because they thought these were terrorist attacks. i joined up alongside the delta jet. i was trying to look inside the cut that come and make sure it was an american. i got 10 feet from the pit and realized he was an american pretty quick because he was using hand gestures that only an american would use, probably another former military pilot. we quickly established that okay, he's good, i'm good. but it was kind of funny. i talk about that is that the back as the hundred little faces pressed up against the wind out,
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looking at this melee fighter bristling with missiles up alongside of it because inside the united states, we don't fly armed, at least another half of the circling specifically to china and that sort of thing and use dummy missiles. but these were alive because nobody knew what was going to happen that day. so i kind of talk about that. and again, all from the viewpoint -- my viewpoint is how it looks from where i was. and i get a lot of the great geopolitical scheme. we get enough of that, at least i do. it's interesting to me when i see it through an eyewitness or from somebody. so that's what most of this is. the kind of reset then into the second goal for and we obviously -- again i'm in the wrong place at the wrong time in my squadron is one of the two squadrons -- but one of the squadrons that goes. one amusing story about that company sent us over there and
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valentine's day 2003 and was stopped in spain overnight. we usually stop flying nonstop if possible. i've done it twice and is utterly miserable. 14 hours in his seat like that. no drinks, no flight attendant. is mr. boll. so i was happy to stop in spain and i got caught in a spanish antiwar protest believe it or not. so i talk a little bit about that. i was done in the cathedral area looking at the cathedral because i'd study to be an architect in college and i wanted to see it again. remember thinking it's awfully quiet and it's like a scene from lameness. this is huge mob of people with red flags that no war signs and what am i going to do if i run? features may not make, so i had to go with them until i could get away. i thought a little bit about that. it was kind of funny.
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and then it picks up again with the actual missions in the second goal for. again, some have been using cars. some of them definitely didn't. the mission to save the marines, you know, i thought it was over when i climbed back up out of that mess and break a big sigh of relief because i could see the sun. why looked back down, there is no ground to be seen anywhere which is a big deal. we can fly down to 200 feet and used instrument approaches, but the whole continent was covered and i found eight other f-16s on the the air refueling tankers that didn't really know where to go or what to do, so all of a sudden i'm in charge of 10 airplanes that i didn't plan on and they've got to get them down to a divert base in northern kuwait that i've never seen before. it has a runway theoretically, but it's more like bomb craters holding hands. it was just a mess. it is a very, very long, bad
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day. so i talk about that, kind of some wild weasel scenarios. what it's like despite all of our space stuff and cool technology, we got back to the point where we had to fly download over back.and over the battlefield to get these guys to shoot at us that we could find them because for instance the army and marine helicopters were common and they can't protect themselves against missiles in tripoli. so kind of degenerated back into that. so i talk a little bit about that. it was fine over back dad one day and i'd heard some guy from the flavor for me talking about seeing a bear. and i'm thinking he's sniffing glue or his oxygen system is contaminated or something not right. i've looked at us i saw a giraffe from across baghdad. all the wild animals were running but it shows something you don't
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think about, you don't expect. stuff like that is a matter. and that kind of close is on what i think is a positive note. you know, i don't like it when you read nonfiction and the writers kind of had this catharsis may bleed all over the pages and you walk away thinking that was heavy, though his deep. this is a little bit more positive. again, how i saw it and how it felt to come home from yet another war and realized this was finally up for me, i'm done. it's somebody else's turn. so that it's kind of it in brief. i appreciate the response so far. this caught me by surprise. it was much more than utf-8 and i had anticipated. and not just for military folks. in fact, more civilians, street civilians have been interested, i think because we've always
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been fascinated by aviation, right-click its not something that humans do normally, especially 500, 600 miles flinging bits at each other. so i think a lot of are interested in that. so that said, if you guys have questions, i'd be happy to answer questions for you. anything at all. [inaudible] >> i talk about that too, actually. vance air force base in oklahoma. are you guys going to dpt? [inaudible] >> on purpose? >> yeah. >> why? [inaudible] >> nothing against oklahoma, but is based on the the east coast in oklahoma at least the panhandle of oklahoma was a bed of a culture shock for me. i think they've improved things considerably now.
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they slapped a primary trainers. you guys had the 86 now instead of the god-awful t. 37 that we had. when a going? [inaudible] >> did you put something on the facebook page? i was due? okay, i didn't want to do it because i'm not a facebook guy. they made me. but actually it's turned out to be interesting because i get to talk to a lot more people than i thought. so feel free to chime in. what he wanted due? what do you want to fly? >> f-16s. >> good answer. yes luther raptor for three hours at the end of my career. it's a fabulous airplane, but i'm partial to the f-16. the air force may come to that, they've may realize we can't afford these raptures and as 35's at $150 million each.
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let's go somewhere new f-16s because the newest versions that we've built is called the block 60 amway sold it to the united arab emirates. best buy dreads ever flew. it's got everything within jumping up and down and yelling about for 15 years, they said it's a good idea and put it in. [inaudible] >> i don't know what they call it. eat and ask. american f-16s rcmp unshed. very cool airplane. you want to be a fighter pilot clucks [inaudible] >> not yet. i'm applying for officer school. >> good, good. air force? know that's fine. i was tired.
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a lot of things changed for the better, but there's a lot of animosity between the services and i got a lot of competition because we got together so much of the last 20 years. that one away and there's a lot more cooperation than there ever was before, so that's good. i'll tell you that you live better in the air force and so will the other guys. they've got a lot of sf and see how friends and they keep hitting themselves, like what were they thinking? cool jobs, but you get treated better in the air force and the other services, at least so far. what else? come on, don't make me tap dance. >> you talked about a time, your experiences are flying in a a timely insight for fighter pilot was glorified more so than the other day. but you she had to say in regards to change -- times that are changing now? >> drove steph?
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>> yes, and the culture. >> part of what we've done is we won the last were so completely there hadn't been a thread, so the skies over iraq are clear. you know, there aren't any sands or antiaircraft artillery. there is never any in afghanistan. i mean, that's a nasty groundwork, but from an arab perspective, the same integrated air defenses in trying to kill fighter jets. so given that the skies are permissive, the jones have been able to roam around free and i think false conclusions have been drawn and decent people who want to know better, who are thinking, look how well these things work. we could just use them all the time. i've nothing against drones. they do some things i would want to do. i don't want to orbit over a point and take pictures for 12 hours. my tail would go to sleep and i don't want to do that. but by the same token, they are followed by a guy who's looking
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through a tiny soda straw of a few. he's not a pilot sitting there on the scene. i don't know of anybody and any ground forces that would rather have a drove overhead then i fighter, just because they will combat situation. you can plan it, you can walk out the door at the best plan in the world and it's going to change, guaranteed. if it doesn't start apart completely, it will fall apart mostly. it's hard to adapt and change to that if you're sitting in a trailer tent doesn't miles away. so i don't see why there has to be in a competition. we do what we do, they do what they do, but they're not going to replace us. to get around to answering your question, i think the air force in particular has always been enamored with technology. and that's good because i was at
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this time, 15 years ahead of everybody else, but they each remember that without the menus in whatever type allergy it is, it's just resting junk. it could be a drove, a fighter jet. i think they just get more press, you know, i guess you call it the negative end of things. when push comes to shove, they'll remember. they want habitu├ęs. even something like iran. i'm not advocating fighting in iran. not because they're a threat. i could care less. they go down just like everybody else, but wars are messy and nasty and people die. so if you can avoid them, that's a good thing. even someone like iran, the drones are going to live over there. not until the sky is clear. that answer your question? kind of? >> what about libya? do you think that the be a kind
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of open peoples eyes a little bit with the integrated air defense system? >> not anything new. you know, it was certainly less of an integrated air defense system that iraq had or the serbs had, you know. i think it got more press. you got to remember when i went to were the first time, there is cable news, but it wasn't like it is now. i've found for everybody sapping information on youtube in all of the place. it was not like that. so the more that that that is out there, the more exposure there is. libya is a real chance, i think, to make that part of the world a better place. it's actually a nice country. the people that i've met over there are good folks. you know, in fact last week on fox they asked me about the arab
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uprising in all these peoples protesting. and i said, you know, it looks hard when i was over there and i never saw it. i think is the same 20 people jumping around in front of the camera. makes good media, but sometimes not realistic. not to say that there isn't a threat, but most of the arabs i know, they're just like us. they want to live a good life and make their kids happy. they're not really any different. it's the bad ones i think they get the press. so libya is going to be kind of careless in the next six months. i hope they pull it off because they chased al qaeda and al-shabaab in that group of people. it made where they are untenable, so they're moving into africa. i've been to nigeria and other places doing counterterrorism
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work is like the game walkable wheeze to play with your kids. you have one here in the head pops up over here. that's what terrorism really is. we can beat them with force if they face up to us, but they don't do that that often. really only way to fight an idea is it's another idea and that's what were little short on at the moment but i think they need to work on. we're not going to convince someone who's active terrorist to believe like us, anymore than you are going to decide that looks like fun, i'm going to go do that. i'm going to grab an egg can start shooting people appeared are not going to do that. that's what libya is really important because if we can get a place stabilized, it can make a difference. it's north africa. it's not the arabian peninsula, said there different types of people. we get in the habit of thinking of arabs is this whole one or
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ben or not any more than we are. i'm from maryland and there's probably people here from the west coast of the north and midwest. we are all different, so a day. if we can stabilize that place, it would be good. as far as the drone goes, again, they've released for some time they can stand up and fight as conventionally, which is why they do what they do, which is why they drove planes into the twin towers, which is why they attack armed, unsuspecting people. so i don't have an answer other than i think we need to fight an idea with a different idea. yes, ma'am. >> in the area of the psychology of killing, do you think it's easier to kill from the air? >> no, killing is killing. i was never a knife -- not when i was in the military as ever and a nice site and had had to see their eyes, but she's a
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20-millimeter cannon, you've got to get close enough to see people's faces sometimes. i do not set a couple times and all i can tell you that think anybody who's been in the situation with say you have to distance yourself from it at some point, somehow. everybody does it different. i wish we lived in a world where this wasn't necessary, but we don't do we probably never will be. so i have no regrets about what i have to do. i said in the book, you know, everybody that i kill was trying to kill me. it came down literally to either them or me and vagueness, i didn't. guys handle it different ways. you know, i've seen people who come apart at the time. i've seen people would iran have some difficulties. pilots are especially good at
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compartmentalizing because the flying world is so different than normal everyday world, but we have to put it back in a honeycomb in the back of your head and shouted away and i think combat this kind of an extension of that. i wouldn't want to live at the fighter pilot. i don't know how my wife did it. we're not the easiest people to live with under normal circumstances, much less something like that. does that answer your question? >> yes, thank you. >> what else? got to be something. idea back >> there's a chapter on the first gulf war. the elephant is an expression for combat and there's a couple different versions of how it came to be. i personally believe the one that goes back to the roman times when hannibal broadus alevin across the alps to attack
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rogue and the romans had talked about having seen the elephant having been in combat. so don't know if it happens. i made this point, too, it's not just combat. anyone who's ever had a crow skull, and i don't know how i'm sitting here close call it gets caught a glimpse of the aloof and, we are in insides freeze up, time stops, you can't breathe and then it passes and you think, what was that? well, we say that the glimpse at the elephant. happens a lot as a fighter pilot. you get used to it as much as you can, but yeah, that was the first mission over iraq that day, were caught a glimpse and i remember looking at these four, five air missiles coming up off the ground at me and i relist for the first time that this is real, you know, this isn't the range in alice.
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this isn't just some symbol on my scope. as things are real and they're coming out my nose, you know, you hope you react right. you hope you do which are supposed to do. i never knew a guy that didn't, not a fighter pilot. never knew when the didn't. but it still brings you up short the first time because there's no way to train for that. you just hope everything else you've done up to that time keeps you from screwing up. somebody asked me earlier in the week, what did you think about all this at the time? said there's no time. most of the time were flying around at 800 feet per second, that's rifle bullet speed. i've got two or three airplanes to keep up with and i don't have time to think about this. but later on that day, you know could when he said a ground speed zero in your room or at the bar, it comes back and you
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think, wow, what could've happened? and the new bucket away in a compartment and try to fake it about it and you go one. that's one of my favorite chapters because i remember it vividly. someone else asked me, how do you remember all this stuff? well, you know, i'm sure you guys have had experiences in their lives, things will never forget. you can remember them like they happened this morning. that's kind of how this is. how about you, young man? do you like airplanes? think you're headed that way? [inaudible] >> where did you get the army acs from? [inaudible] >> which base?
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[inaudible] >> which part? what unit? [inaudible] >> i've got some buddies out there. well, a lot of this is probably familiar to you from a different standpoint. it will look good and you for surviving through it. your dad's a brave man. i never had to use one, thankfully. i never got shot down. have some friends and they're awfully, awfully happy to see the army come over the ridge in their blackhawks with apaches and everything else swarming nearby. so again, i think that is something positive that came out of the last 20 years, the fact that we are all a lot closer than we used to be. so that's good. you nod your head a lot in degree. you must have some thing to say? what are you working on?
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>> a question. we've come so far as acknowledging -- but still missing -- [inaudible] >> that's a real good question. did you all hear that? she asked americans acknowledge the military and are grateful more than they used to be and what is still missing. i was in grade school in vietnam. i'm really happy that the general population realizes that come you know, the military doesn't want to start wars. most people i know in the military, especially those in the hurt locker, you know, with less people who want to go fight because it interrupts our lives. some people don't combat. we are hardly blood thirsty. it's nice to see people being
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supported unpatriotic, jumping up and down and saying let's go get them. it just has to go get them come us would rather not unless we have to good that said, people realize that you can be against the war or against the government or policies, but don't take it out on the military because we're just doing what we do. that's the biggest thing i've seen in the last 20 years and that's good. it's really good. i've got some dyed in the wool, liberal east coast cousins that, you know, they want nothing to do with military, does support anything like that. that's fine. we don't want people that outthink the same way, that they realize that they've got a gripe, then go take it up with government. so they're nice to me. they keep buying coffee and not cared we agree to disagree, but they still support the military, which is nice. but i think is missing if i had to call it sent them i'd call it
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the va. have you had run-ins with them? not yet? good. boy, i feel their pain kind of because there's millions of people out there that need the va, but i think it's shameful there's guys walking around with mrs. pieces of themselves they can't get proper treatment from our own government. and there's really no excuse for it because i run a business now and it can be done. they're just not doing it. i don't incus willfulness click on their part. i think they just don't know what to do and they've got the wrong people running it. i hate to see the figures of military veterans, you know, that are homeless, can't get treatment. i'm not talking about guys that sat out they are working in a bx somewhere. not that there's anything wrong with it, but the guys you've seen the elephant, been part of that, come back a little bit different ip or are missing
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parts of themselves, and they deserve better. that's what i would say is missing if i had to put a label to it. make sense? something else. you guys got to help me here. we've got to talk for 10 minutes. you can either ask or i can talk. she's putting you on the spot good >> how about upt? you guys want to ask anything? [inaudible] -- any advice, stories, or your 2 cents after the fact. >> boy, was i full of myself then. he spent four years going through college and going through everything you got to do that you know to get accepted to
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upt. it's more than just getting a commission. there's a whole separate nightmare, especially now with things are drawn down. they could really pick and choose. so it was really tough to get in. i remember getting there, thinking i'm somebody. i made it this far, i'm a lieutenant, look at my impressive utter bar. wow, i got over that pretty quick. the first thing you remember that stuck out at a upt is the media glaring difference between those with wings and those without wings. like anything else in life, when you really want something and you don't have it, you become fixated on it. and that's good because that's what you need to be for that year. you need to be focused and fixated. when we got to wear flight suits, because they made us wear blues for two weeks, which was really humiliating on a flying
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ace. we finally got flight suits and their brand-new, they smell like no mix. it smells kind of sweet and their crews because they've never been washed tearjerkers are shiny. i remember standing in front of the mirror, inking, boy i look really good. and boy, the next day, we got the you may be wearing a flight suit, which are not anything yet. was a little more graphic than that, but i'll spare you the four letter in it does that went along with it. and it's all performance-based, you know. it doesn't matter when you walk through that gate whether you're an academy grad or ocs or rotc. it doesn't matter if your dad was a general order for hero or sweet streaker. it doesn't matter. you're all equal at that point and everything you do after that is all performance-based and a great everything.
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you know, every test, every situation, every simulator, every flight, every day and. so just be aware that you're under the microscope. don't let them make you take because if you're tight coming or not going to do very well. just be aware of it. i would never lose an opportunity to keep my mouth shut. they are looking for a cocky, arrogant types because you guys were academy guys? okay, you know how it is wynyard upperclassman and some freshmen shows up thinks he's god's gift to the academy, that you focus on in. we did. that's what they're going to do. they are looking for the guy who thinks he's chuck yeager and i'll show him in great, painful detail why he is not. it's hard enough without complicating your life that way. i would be humble, i would be quiet and i would obviously ace every single thing you can because that's what they're
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going to look at. there are guys that showed up they had a lot of civilian flying time and they outperformed most of the rest of us nt 37, but the real equalizer came in 238, the advance china and it's kind of like a fighter. you know, it's a lot faster. the seats are behind each other, not side-by-side. is easier with the instructor behind you because they're not watching everything you do, which is a little disconcerting. it plans like a fighter, flies like one. that's when they really decided who is going to be a fighter pilot. i don't think that's changed. it matters how you performed in basic, but where you really want to shine is the two thirtieths, because that's when they'll decide who goes where it does what. so long story short, my advice
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would be, be quiet, be humble and absolutely flies best you can. the mr. kolb, cool and collected. i have no idea what the attrition rates are now. i would imagine with the draw down they are pretty high because they're looking for reasons to get rid of people. ours were pretty bad. but again, that some of them on it. were all taxpayers, said we want a guy find a $100 million flier who may dig it up? i don't. it's a good system. it's very fair. unforgiving, harsh, but again, get used to it. it's going to be that way and it doesn't get any better for about five years. when i got wings and i got to fighter, again, i should've known better, but i thought i was somebody again. and you know, you get out to luke air force base, get f-16s and get into rcu, where they
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train you how to fly the f-16 and the eat that right out of you, too. it's a process of climbing up, getting beaten down, climbing up, getting beaten down. even at my first fighter school, it's two years after he started. i walk in the door and i think okay, now i'm really bear. i'm a fighter pilot now and you're not. even if you're qualified f-16 pilot because he has to go through front-line fighter check out. it's called an ntt program. that takes two or three months. at the end the look you in the eye and say you're a fighter pilot. i was too tired them to think much of myself. but just beware of being cocky. what else? did you think of your question? no, you don't have one? okay.
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>> microphone makes him nervous. look at you causing trouble. what else? there has to be something. >> is a private military company. i wanted to collect butterflies for a living, but didn't work out for me. i actually got into commercial development when i first retired under remiss in not clothes because i wanted to put my long deceased architecture degree to work. architecture didn't help with fighting players -- flying fighters. a lot a lot of things, the recession killed that, so i had to go back to doing something a newcomers i got involved with the private military companies and the government and got to see kind of the other side of the coin in afghanistan and iraq
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and other less pleasant places. so it is what it is. how about you guys? are you waiting for the free drinks? there aren't any. >> now, were in the same boat as these guys. we just graduated recently. >> graduated from the academy? both you guys going? where to? >> shepherd. nice place. i told you that, didn't i.? were used to drive there from dance if you can believe it because there's absolutely nothing in enid. shepard is in wichita falls and it has degraded image of training military nurses there, too. and when the nurses have a graduation, it's a big party. so you put nurses together with fighter pilots are pilots and, you know, it's going to be a
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more interesting time than it normally would. think about what's up in enid, oklahoma and wichita falls and it's got to be a pretty good incentive to get somebody to drive. sheppard is a nice place. dallas is into fiery there. do they still guarantee you guys a fighter at it in so? >> now, pretty much the same as anywhere else. >> that was the same in damage. when i went through, if you were to shepherd you were going to get a fighter. there was some good ones, but the most part they got a lot of fighters. it's probably better that way and more fair all around. what else? underwent okmulgee guys up. okay, well thanks for coming very much. i appreciate it. if you guys buy the book, even
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better. harpercollins actually send me up to read a couple more. one is nonfiction. it's the history of fighter pilot, not just americans, but all of them. i've been burning how much i didn't know about my own profession. it's going to be a very interesting book. it's due sometime next year, so i'll take another six months after that, so maybe 2014. and then there's a fictional book i wrote called the mercenary that will be out in e-book form to start with i think in january or february. unlike most good fiction, it's not really fiction. i mean, parts of it are, but a lot of it is based on things i've done since then. pretty interesting. actually, the e-book version of this thing. i'd like to feel a book, turn the pages and all that, but i'm coming around slowly. you know, you get 600 books and you have to travel you can read
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instead of lugging a pack of books around. they did a good job. it's interact to c. compiler cockpit displays and for the uninitiated, explains when he is talking about a hud, what is that quite it has really cool pictures and graphics and we went to alice eric were space in june and one of my friends is the wing commander out there and he loved me and airplane day and they filmed a whole bunch of stuff at the airplane itself and its all all in there. so if you guys are e-book types, you can maybe have a look at that because it turned out really, really well. that said, if there's other questions, then thanks for coming. i hope he does like the book. [applause] if you've got that many wanted assignment, i will. if you end up liking the book, throw a review on amazon for me. that will help.
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i'd be happy to sign what she's got. >> i want to talk to you today about my book, strom thurmond's america. i want to begin by telling you a story, my strong thurmond story. when you go into research in south carolina and you go into archives and people ask you which are interested in writing about, and you tell them strong or amend, you say let me tell you my story about strom thurmond. you can't very stoned in south carolina without hitting somebody who's got a great story about strom are men. the time they did something for them or do something crazy or that sort of thing. my story about strom thurmond begins in late july 1992. i'm on a flight from washington d.c. to charlotte, north
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carolina. i had been an intern that summer up on capitol hill. one of my regrets that this summer was i'd never seen strom thurmond because all of my fellow interns said you've got to see strom thurmond. he is such an unusual appearance about him. i didn't know what they meant, but i have my suspicions. so i'm on the flight and i look in front of me and cnn who has got these kind of orange colored hair comes so brightly covered and first-generation kind of hair plugs. it shows you how slow i am. i think to myself, and that must be what strom thurmond's head looks like. and of course it wasn't strom thurmond. i realize that when people were reaching over and tried to shake his hand. i wanted to shake his hand because i've been in d.c. that summer for the first time and i've met all these politicians had seen on tv. it had a great thrill.
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i got to go home and speech made as rotary club and i wanted to tell them about all the famous people at hennepin washington d.c. i was going to shake his hand when i got off the plane, but as i got off the plane, there were people lined up to shake his hand. i didn't get in line. i'm thinking, i wasn't a constituent. i'm a south carolinians. i don't have anything to say to them and to be honest, i was a little self-conscious. it's a busy airport, a lot of different kinds of people in there. i was self-conscious about standing in line to greet him at his best known for his segregationist reign. i thought was best to say that i've seen him and keep on walking. but i'm conflicted about and i walked on the concorde about a hundred yards at the back, and hear everybody had shaken his hand and here's his 89-year-old man at the time come he's got a briefcase in one hand and a
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travel bag in the other any package under one arm and a shoe shuffling done this busy, crowded airport. and without thinking, i go back and introduce myself. i said senator thurmond, i'm joe crespi know. i'd be happy to help you get to your next flight. he said are you sure you've got enough time? i don't want to delay you in your own travels at a set of got plenty of time, happy to do it. we walked together for about 10 minutes and i was just trying to make conversation with strong thurmond. i told him about all the people i've met that summer and he said nice things about the various colleagues at that. i told him i was on my way, that i had a girlfriend from florence, south carolina and said some silly comment about south carolina girls. seeing the kind of small talk when made with strong earnings. i got into his flight and shook his hand again and that was it. but i thought about that story a lot as i've written this book
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because that story is a metaphor for the difficulty i had, or the challenge that i faced in writing about this very controversial figure. you know, there's no easy or straightforward way to write about a figure as controversial as strom thurmond. and sometimes i've been reading this book, i wondered if some of the stuff in this book is not another effort on their part to carry strom thurmond's backs, his baggage. but the other challenge i had come of the real in this book was to kind of fight the urge, not to walk away not meet the man face to face and present him as a kind of three-dimensional character. so that's the challenge i face. what i wanted to do really is write a history of strom
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thurmond's america and in a critical, but dispassionate way, a way that would shed light on the histories that have shaped each of our american today. been doing that you can add a measure of reason and dispassion but in boiler politics today, so that was the goal. but what are those big issues? what are those issues a history of strom thurmond america speaks to? a lot of us remember who he was. strom thurmond within a team 40 dixiecrat presidential candidate. strom thurmond was one of the lead authors of the 1956 southern manifesto, which was the protest of the supreme court's decision in the brown v. board of education 1964.
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strom thurmond is the recordholder to stay at the longest one-man filibuster. 24 hours and 18 minutes he spoke against the 1957 civil rights bill. we remember strom thurmond today is one of the last of the jim crow demagogues and he was. he was not. but we forgot is that he was also one of the first of the sun belt conservatives. what i mean by that? as a sun belt, it's one of the major stories in the history of 20th century american politics. that is the flow of jobs, industry, resources and population from the states of the northeast and midwest, to the south and southwest in the post-world war ii period.
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southern states were recruiting industries. they were passing right to work laws. they were receiving from you and from the federal government to build military installations that attend the united states was involved in the cold war against the soviet union. states like mississippi, georgia, texas and southern california and arizona and north carolina are all transformed in the post-world war ii period by this historic shift in population and political influence. just think about it. the latest period from 1964 to 2008 could be thought of this kind of the period of sun belt dominance in american presidential history. you think about every president elected from 1964 to 2008 comes from the state on the sun belt. when johnson from texas, richard nixon from california. gerald ford was never elected, so he doesn't count. jimmy carter from georgia, ronald reagan from california.
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the first george bush via connecticut. bill clinton from arkansas and the second question texas. so too does the natives and so ways a watershed election. it ends the 40 year. the sun belt dominance. their issues critical in the politics that developed that came out of the sun belt. they didn't have a conservative cast of them. they tended to be oriented about issues of strong national defense, and opposition to unions and a defense of free enterprise politics. and also is in the south and southwest that we see the rise at an 1870s when they come to talk about the religious right. the rise of evangelicals involved in the political process in new and important ways. so thurmond was at the forefront about this issues in his own politics. national defense, who is a staunch anti-communist and played a role in